How Food Choices Affect Your Retirement

Your eating habits may influence your retirement preparedness.

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Not that many people consider how their evening meal impacts their retirement, but perhaps they should. Our daily consumption dramatically affects our finances, and changing our food choices can alter our chances of a solid retirement. Here are several ways your food selection matters for your golden years.

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You spend more while you are hungry. Expensive restaurant food isn’t the only way you are induced to spend. Some businesses will fill their stores with scents like vanilla and cinnamon in an attempt to get more sales. When you are hungry, you instinctively eat more and exert less self control. Stay away from the mall when you are hungry. Eating a snack at home before shopping could allow you to put a little more cash in a retirement account.

Overeating costs more. We all know that eating out generally costs more than eating at home. We also tend to eat more when we eat out, which actually makes us feel hungry more easily. This is because the more we eat, the more our body gets used to more food and thus signals us that we need more.

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The way to feel less hungry is to actually eat a more balanced diet and stay consistent with the amount of food you eat on a daily basis. If you sometimes eat a ton and sometimes hardly anything, something you are more prone to do when you are always out at restaurants where portions differ, you are not only spending more on the spot, but also setting yourself up to spend more later. A big part of losing weight is simply eating less of the same food you are currently consuming, which will also cut your food bills.

Being overweight can increase our medical bills. Employees at large companies generally pay the same insurance premiums, regardless of their weight. But you will need to worry about individual premium costs if you become self employed or start your own business, get fired, or want to retire early and need coverage before Medicare kicks in. Out-of-pocket costs may also increase if you develop a chronic condition related to obesity.

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You will feel more energetic in your golden years. Remember your younger days when you could party all night, sleep for a few hours, and feel perfectly fine the next morning? Many people who lose weight regain some of that youthful energy. You won't have unlimited energy, of course, but you will have plenty to enjoy the decades of hard work you put in to build a solid nest egg.

David Ning runs MoneyNing, a personal finance site aimed at helping others change their habits for a better financial future. He suggests that everyone to sign up for an online savings account to get more out of our hard earned money.